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Brazil to approach 4mn IPTV subs by 2017

There will be 3.9mn subscribers to managed IPTV services in Brazil by 2017, representing 9% of the country’s total pay-TV customer base, according to consultancy Dataxis.

With just 52,000 IPTV households nationwide at the end of 2011, according to figures from Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News), this would represent a major new revenue opportunity for the country’s telcos.

Dataxis is estimating that there will be at least 200 new companies entering the Brazilian pay-TV market over the next five years, thanks to regulatory changes which include the approval of Bill 116, removing foreign ownership limits in the cable sector (previously set at 49%) and permitting the launch of full IPTV services.

One local telco with big plans is Telefónica subsidiary Vivo, which recently revealed that it has already started testing a new IPTV service called ‘Vivo TV Fibra’ in São Paulo, with a view to launching the service in the next few weeks.

Another service provider called Oi has already chosen Alcatel-Lucent to act as equipment supplier and systems integrator of the IPTV platform it is preparing to launch in the second half of this year, using Microsoft’s Mediaroom middleware.

Meanwhile, US consultancy Frost & Sullivan predicted earlier this week that pay-TV operators in Latin America are going to start targeting lower-income homes as a result of saturation of the wealthier end of the market.

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